GBTA poll: Nearly all biz travel on hold

The coronavirus continues to devastate the global business travel industry, with business travel coming almost to a halt across the globe, according to research conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Almost every GBTA member company (96%) report they have canceled and/or suspended all or most international business travel regardless of location.  

GBTA conducted its fourth lightning poll among membership and received responses from more than 1,155 member companies throughout the world. 

Among the poll’s key findings: 

•   Companies are canceling or suspending almost all business travel regardless of country or region. GBTA members report their companies have canceled or suspended “all” or “most” business trips to: 

•   China: 99% canceled or suspended

•   Hong Kong: 99% canceled or suspended 

•   Taiwan: 98% canceled or suspended 

•   Other Asia-Pacific countries: 97% canceled or suspended 

•   Europe: 96% canceled or suspended 

•   Middle East/Africa: 95% canceled or suspended 

•   Latin America: 92% canceled or suspended 

•   Canada: 89% canceled or suspended 

•   United States: 85% canceled or suspended 

Many GBTA member companies have instituted blanket cancelation/suspension of business travel regardless of location, duration or purpose. Four in 10 (41%) report their company as canceled or suspended all business travel, while half (53%) report their company has canceled or suspended all non-essential trips but allows some essential travel.  

GBTA member companies have undertaken a host of measures to help protect employees including instituting work from home policies (85%), provide updated health and safety information to employees (79%) and developing contingency plans to get work done such as increase teleconferences and video meeting (70%). Other actions taken include limiting the number of people who work in the office (59%) fewer report their company has temporarily closed all but essential departments (26%), closed the office entirely (25%) or moved some employees to new locations (11%).   

Almost all GBTA member companies have canceled (95%) and/or postponed (92%) meetings, conferences or events due to the coronavirus. Fewer (31%) report meetings or events have been moved to other locations. When asked to estimate the percentage of business travel previously booked for March 2020 that has been canceled, GBTA members estimate approximately 89% of business trips have been canceled.  This is double the estimate from the March 10, 2020 GBTA poll, when members estimated 43% of March 2020 business travel was canceled due to coronavirus. 

GBTA members vary in terms of when they expect business travel to resume. Over half expect travel to resume within the next three (40%) or six (17%) months. Four in 10 (40%) say they are unsure when travel will resume.